10 Strategies for Reducing Anxiety and Increasing Feelings of Well-being
by Dr. Barbara Lowe
- Watch your Thinking. We are talking to ourselves all the time, but what we are saying to ourselves is not always helpful. Find ways to change the narrative you are telling yourself so that it is more helpful and less anxiety producing.
- Practice HALTING. Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired? If so, HALT what you are doing and take time for some self-care. Take the time to eat a healthy meal, take a nap, touch base with a friend, or work on solving a problem. You likely won’t regret it!
- Get 8 Hours of ZZZ’s a Night. Getting regular sleep is correlated with positive mental and physical health outcomes. Good sleep hygiene is critical to improving well-being.
- Check in with Yourself. Several times a day, take 60 seconds to check in with your body to identify where you are feeling comfortable and not comfortable on the inside of your skin. Just paying loving attention to your bodily experience can help you to better regulate your autonomic nervous system so that you feel more centered.
- Let It Go. There is great wisdom in the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It is helpful to accept what cannot be changed, and allow ourselves to work on what can be changed.
- Take Time to Develop Your Spiritual Life. Developing an active spiritual life can be very centering and peace-producing. Spending time in prayer, scripture, and meditation can help connect us the Source of Peace.
- Spend Time with Supportive Others. Spending time with positive and “safe” friends and loved-ones can help us get the support and perspective we need. And remember, we need at least 12 hugs a day to function well!
- Do Something Creative. It is difficult to engage in a creative or curious activity and remain anxious. Why not pick up a creative hobby you used to enjoy, or find a new one?
- Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise helps us to release tension and stress in healthy ways. Exercise does not have to be rigorous to be beneficial and improve our sense of well-being.
- Know When to Get Professional Help. If symptoms of anxiety and stress persist, it is important to ask for professional help. Talk to your primary care provider, or make an appointment with a skilled mental health clinician.